Your kids' clothes — The Bump
D.C. Area Babies

Your kids' clothes

How much do you think you spend on clothes per year or per season for each kid? I realize this will vary widely if other people buy/give your kid clothes, or if you have 2+ kids of the same gender.

Also, if you get hand-me-downs from other people, how choosy are you about what your kid wears? If someone gives you perfectly "good" free clothes (meaning no holes or stains), but the clothes are not something you would ever pick out in a million years (i.e. garish designs or colors), would you still dress your kid in them? 
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Re: Your kids' clothes

  • we get a ton of hand-me-downs but as the kids get older, less and less. The older they are, the longer they can wear the same outfit and by the time they grow out of it, it's so worn out it can't be handed down.  This is really the 1st year I have had to buy DD a lot of clothes. I had to buy DS some winter stuff - hat, jacket, boots (which he refused to wear, so I returned them). I am not sure how much I spent but I love me some freebies, so yea, I'll take everything and unless it's really horrible, my kids will wear it. DD is now getting to the age where she is really picky though.
  • Practically $0.  She gets a lot of clothes as gifts (mostly from my Mom, but also from SIL and others...)

    1/2 of J's clothes I wouldn't pick out in a million years.  But, she wears them.  They're free.

    I've also gotten some hand-me-downs from a friend.  She wore all of those, too... including souvenier T-shirts for a couple of places that we haven't visited.  hahahaha.

    I hate spending money on kids' clothes.  They grow out of them so fast.

  • This is so un-green and not thrifty, but I buy all of his clothes new. I like picking things out for him. I am a really good bargain shopper, so I get everything on sale, and so far I've been pretty happy with Carters, Target, Old Navy and the occasional Gymboree or Baby Gap splurge, lol, so it's not too spendy. The amount we spend on his clothes doesn't really affect our budget.
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  • I probably spent about $100/kid for summer and then again for winter (so $200/year/kid not including shoes or outerwear) . My mom also buys them some stuff. We buy most of their clothes at Carters, Kohl's, and Target, so not expensive stuff. I hate paying more than $10 for any item. 

    We got a lot of hand-me-downs from my BFF, and while they were all sort of wearable, I wouldn't pick out 99% of the stuff (most had been handed down to many people and were 5-7 years old). I use some of the basic items, like pants, sweats, socks, etc. but I don't use the other stuff. We can afford the new clothes, which I can sell later, so I'd rather spend the money on stuff I like to look at on my kids. 

  • I would guess that I spend $50ish per season. That's probably a low estimate. I shop a lot of Children's Place, Old Navy  and outlet sales and save things for the next season or next year so it's hard to tell. I also usually buy two sizes up so that he can wear them longer. Little boys can get away with baggy, right? I haven't been thrifting much, which I should get back in the habit of doing.

    We received an avalanche of hand me downs when he was born, but they have definitely tapered off (in most cases, he's now the same size as the kids handing down the clothes). SIL gives us some goofy stuff with licensed characters and what not that I save for the daycare bag or just give away. Any kind of pants I usually keep, but I have less patience for really stupid shirts.

    Funny story - MIL watches C a bit during the week and he randomly comes home with strange clothes. I think SIL & MIL finally realized that we didn't share the same taste, so SIL started giving clothes directly to MIL and they bypass our house altogether.

  • I was just trying to figure out the answer to your question for my own budgeting this morning.  I buy a lot of clothes this time of year for next year, since they are on clearance. 

    I think I'm spending about $250 per season per kid.  Maybe a little less on DD, since I have a swap with another mom who had a daughter first (I get all of her clothes and she gets all of DS's clothes).  We seem to have similar tastes but her style is a little more casual than mine, which works out fine for play clothes.  


  • The other thing is... DD gets uncomfortable in the more expensive clothes.  She hates wearing jeans and regular pants and heavy fabrics.  So, she's pretty much almost always dressed in leggings and a cottony dress/shirt type thing.
  • $100 per season per child.  Although that may not include shoes.  I tend to buy those ahead of time.  I usually buy most of their clothes on consignment and then some special occasion outfits new.  My mom usually gives them a lot of new clothes as well.  I do buy some items on clearance a year ahead because the prices are just too good to resist.  It's so much easier now that DD just goes up a size a year.  With DS I'm still in the guessing realm. 
  • I probably spend about $150 per season for DD#1. However, I would consider that I only have 2 seasons per year. There's the shorts/t-shirt season and the pants/long sleeve shirt season. That $150 includes mostly stuff from the thrift store, a few new things, and a good pair of shoes. 

    When I get hand-me-downs that I don't particularly like, I let DD wear them. I don't think anyone is judging DD on style at the daycare (although I can already tell she is getting her own fashion sense). For things that I really don't like, I sometimes use those clothes to keep them in the back of a minivan for an emergency or give them to the DCP or grandparents as extra clothes for an emergency. That way, they aren't in our regular "rotation" but yet I don't have to use the clothes that I like to be sitting at grandma's or the DCP's house.

    For DD#2, she's basically not getting anything new because they are only a month apart in age (season-wise) so I can use most of DD#1's clothes for DD#2. The only exception is that DD#2 is enormous so I had to buy a few winter onesies for her since DD#1 was not that size at 9 months old. But, I think she'll even out a bit more as she gets older. Oh, and I'll get DD#2 a new pair of shoes for each season.

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  • Not exactly your question, but I'm pretty excited about  Haven't gotten my first box yet, but I really like the concept after I figured out that I don't much like shopping for DD's clothes.  It's $40/month for a box of 8 items (first box I got a $20 discount).  You can cancel or suspend at any time.  I figure we'll probably only do 6 boxes, if that, a year. 
  • I think I spend around $100/season, not including shoes, which cost $25-30 all by themselves. We had a lot of hand-me-downs for the first 18 months, but they're starting to slow down.

    ETA: I also consider there to be two clothing seasons.

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  • image BirdGirl01:
    I figured out that I don't much like shopping for DD's clothes.

    Whaaa??? As the mom of a boy, I would offer my bargain shopping services to any little girl's mom. I'm so damn jealous. 

  • I would guess around $200 per year.  My mom, sister and SIL like to buy clothes and, for the most part, I like their taste.  My mom loves to buy coats too, so they are covered there.  I got a lot of hand-me-down clothes for DD when she born, so up until 9-12 months, I really didn't even have to buy her anything.  Now that the hand-me-downs have tapered off, I am looking forward to buying her some cute stuff for the spring/summer.  Actually, she is such a peanut, that she is still in the same size she was last year, so I probably have a lot in my basement.  But the clothes have been washed so many times, that I will use those for play clothes rather than for in public.

    I have liked the majority of the hand-me-downs I received.  For the few things I didn't, I  mostly put them on her anyway for play or when I am at work.  There are, however, a few outfits I just never did put her in because I didn't have the need and really didn't like them.

    Come to think of it, DS got no hand-me-downs and I actually have to buy some for him from time to time.  But, he has less clothes than DD, by far. 

  • image MrsPhilDunphy:

    image BirdGirl01:
    I figured out that I don't much like shopping for DD's clothes.

    Whaaa??? As the mom of a boy, I would offer my bargain shopping services to any little girl's mom. I'm so damn jealous. 

    I know, right?  I'm weird.  I thought I would like it, but I don't. 

  • My mom, sister and even my FIL- love to buy clothes for DD but I probably still spend $100 a season. However, now that we are having issues with seams, tags, etc... I will probably be spending more. I just ordered some seamless shirts, leggings, etc and it was over $100.

    oh, and I am picky about clothing for her in general so if someone give me hand me downs that are not 'my style,' I don't feel guilty about not using them. Often, I don't accept hand me downs because DD is so picky. 


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  • I probably spend $100 per season. My MIL is a compulsive shopper and she brings DS so many clothes...some new, some bought from a really good consignment shop where she lives.

    DS is also in a stage where he hates pants with zippers and just about anything long sleeved. So his wardrobe is very simple...basically sweat pants and t-shirts.

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  • I would say probably $150 per season - about $40-50 in secondhand and the rest newbies from sales at Carter's, ON, etc. I agree with vtkendra that there's two seasons - long sleeve/pants and short sleeve/shorts.
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  • We don't spend a lot. Our ILs give us a TON of clothes for J, and our DCP has given us a lot of hand-me-downs from her son who's a few years older.

    So maybe . . . $200 a year? Not including coats/shoes, so maybe $300 max. 

    As for the hand-me-downs, DH and I usually sort through them. Anything with holes or stains is immediately out, and then there are things that we will take out because they're not our style. Sometimes we send some of these to daycare as "back up clothes," for when J gets dirty or has an accident or whatever. Which is why he came home from daycare looking like this one time:


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  • image MrsPhilDunphy:

    image BirdGirl01:
    I figured out that I don't much like shopping for DD's clothes.

    Whaaa??? As the mom of a boy, I would offer my bargain shopping services to any little girl's mom. I'm so damn jealous. 

    Me too! There are but so many truck/dinosaur/dog-themed outfits you can take before you just want some pink already.

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  • image tomandcourt:

    is why he came home from daycare looking like this one time:


    LOL!!! I'm sorry t&c but that pic is priceless. :) He has a "what the eff did they put me in??" look.

     ETA: I have no idea how much we spend. Since she's not in daycare every day, we probably have less than we would in that situation. I try to get stuff on sale at Old Navy or Carters.

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  • I have no clue how much I spend.  My mom buys entirely too many clothes for him, though.  We had a bunch of hand me downs until the 12 month size but now not much. I put him in the "ugly" clothes for daycare or put them as back up clothes for daycare.  No matter how big the bib, he somehow makes a mess of his clothes there! I care less if it's an ugly t-shirt.  ;)

    I'm kinda sad we didn't get a winter b/c we bought a heavy winter coat, snow boots & snow pants so that he could play outside no matter the weather.  Oh well.  At least the snow pants were used!


  • Oh, and I make up for my lack of interest in DD's clothes with her shoes.  I love buying her shoes - but her feet grow so quickly. 
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